Year-to-date, the world's central banks made a net purchase of 125 tonnes (137.79 tons) of gold.
"On a year-to-date basis … this is the strongest start to a year back to at least 2010 – when central banks [once again] became net buyers on an annual basis," wrote World Gold Council Senior Analyst for Europe, the Middle East and Africa Krishan Gopaul. (Related: Demand for gold surges to highest rate in over a decade as world's central banks continue buying spree.)
In January, central banks grew their gold reserves by 74 tonnes (81.57 tons). In February, global gold reserves increased by another 52 tonnes (57.32 tons). February's net purchases mark the 11th month in a row of central banks growing their gold reserves.
This marks the highest amount of purchases from January to the end of February since central banks once again became net buyers in 2010. This also follows record levels of gold purchases last year, with the world's central banks increasing their reserves by a combined 1,136 tonnes (1,252.23 tons).
Singapore reported the largest amount of purchases for the first two months of the year with 51.4 tonnes (56.66 tons) worth of purchases, followed by Turkey's 45.5 tonnes (50.16 tons), China's 39.8 tonnes (43.87 tons), Russia's 31.1 tonnes (34.28 tons) and India's 2.8 tonnes (3.09 tons).
While year-to-date purchases far outweighed sales, several central banks did become net sellers. Croatia, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan all shrank their gold reserves.
Three of the five members of BRICS – Russia, India and China – continue to be net buyers of gold.
Russia, in particular, has been ramping up its gold purchases since the outbreak of the nation's special military operation in Ukraine. According to Gopaul, gold reserves now account for around 24 percent of Russia's foreign reserves.
China has been growing its gold reserves for four straight months, with its current reported stockpiles at 2,050 tonnes (2,259.74 tons).
Frank Holmes, in an article written for U.S. Global Investors, noted that the gold purchasing habits of BRICS nations could be an important step into ushering in a multipolar world – with the world led by the United States and the American dollar on one side, and a BRICS-led world on the other.
"Gold plays an important role in this multi-polarization. The BRICS need the precious metal to support their currencies and shift away from the U.S. dollar, which has served as the global foreign reserve currency for about a century," wrote Holmes.
"More and more global trade is now being conducted in the Chinese yuan, and there are reports that the BRICS – which could eventually include other important emerging economies such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and more – are developing their own medium for payments."
Meaning, it has become even more important for investors to increase their exposure to gold and gold mines to safeguard the value of their investments amid the decreasing profitability of holding on to the dollar.
"Gold is a finite resource. It's expensive and time-consuming to produce more of it," wrote Holmes. "At the same time, BRICS countries will continue to be net buyers as they seek to diversify away from the dollar."
Learn more about the gold market at GoldReport.news.
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